Lawyers for Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke will not be able to access Laquan McDonald’s juvenile court records, a Cook County judge ruled Wednesday.
Patricia Martin, the presiding judge of the child protection division of the Juvenile Court, denied the request from defense attorney Daniel Herbert, who had argued that he needed to review McDonald’s file to prepare for trial.
Van Dyke is accused of shooting 17-year-old McDonald 16 times in 2014.
Last week, Judge Vincent Gaughan appointed Kane County State’s Attorney Joseph McMahon as the independent prosecutor to handle Van Dyke’s murder case.
Christopher Nelson, a spokesman for McMahon, said he could not legally comment on Wednesday’s ruling since the matter was in juvenile court.
McDonald’s court records, usually confidential, were made public to the Chicago Sun-Times and other media outlets late last year after the harrowing dashcam video of McDonald’s death was made public.
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Abuse and neglect complaints began when McDonald was a toddler. He was in and out of foster care, and he had a history of arrests for drugs and petty crimes, according to those records.
McDonald’s mother, Tina Hunter, gave birth to him at age 15, and he became a ward of the state at age 3.
The records also show that McDonald told caseworkers he had previous run-ins with police. He said he needed stitches to close a cut on his chin after a police officer stepped on his head while he lay on the ground during an arrest for marijuana possession.
While in court for a probation violation in February 2014, McDonald claimed he left the courtroom in a rage and cursed at a sheriff’s deputy, who punched him in the face.
McDonald said he spat on the female deputy, who punched him again, the report states.